Kamenetz: Recher Responsible for Altercation Outside Towson Business

Officials say investigation could result in a liquor board hearing and sanctions against the business' liquor license.

UPDATED (7:51 p.m.)—Owners of the Recher Theater in Towson are responsible for an altercation early Sunday that resulted in the arrests of seven people, County Executive Kevin Kamenetz said Tuesday.

"There is nothing wrong with downtown Towson," Kamenetz said. "There is nothing wrong with the vast majority of the businesses that operate in in downtown Towson. There's nothing wrong with our college students—particularly Towson University."

"I really lay the blame on one particular operator here who delegated responsibility to some third-party promoter and I've got a real problem with that because they have a liquor license and they have responsibility to maintain not only order within their premises but those who are outside their premises who are there because of the event they are promoting," Kamenetz said.

Kamenetz and police Chief Jim Johnson criticized the owners of the Recher Theater and their handling of a private event at the club that ended in a fight outside.

Johnson said police were already patrolling the area in larger numbers because of homecoming activities at Towson University.

"We were well aware there were univeristy events and officers were in place to deal with that evening," Johnson said, adding that no students from Towson were involved in the incident.

"Only one individiual identified himself as a college student," Johnson said."We do not believe that it had anything to do with Towson University homecoming festivities."

Johnson said he did not know what college the person attended.

Kamenetz said many of those who attended the event at the Recher Theater Saturday and early Sunday "were from outside the Baltimore metropolitan area."

Johnson said promoters of the event directed people to Towson via social media when other events they had planned that night "did not develop."

Johnson declined to name the promoter of the event, said to be Theta Mu Mu chapter of Omega Psi Phi fraternity, a post-collegiate group not directly affiliated with any university.

Police continue to investigate the incident, Johnson said, and added that such incidents in Towson are relatively rare.

Kamenetz said the conclusion of the investigation could result in the police forwarding the case to the Baltimore County Liquor Board Commission.

Despite the incident Sunday, officials said concerns about Towson being unsafe are unwarranted.

"We're very confident that an incident like this will not repeat itself," Johnson said.

A test of those words could come as soon as tomorrow.

An event called Barstool Blackout was scheduled for tomorrow evening at the bar. Promoters announced on their website that they were postponing until a later date due to the brawl. The event attracted students from Towson University last year and is sold out this year.

Fire Kevin Kamenetz September 25, 2012 at 11:17 PM
Amen Stewart.
Needaname September 25, 2012 at 11:46 PM
Sad but true. It makes you wonder if they are just trying share their 'bounty' with the rest of Baltimore Co.
Needaname September 25, 2012 at 11:53 PM
Are they going to close down Towsontown Mall because they attract the loud, obnoxious, scantly clad people on Friday and Saturday nights to the Mall ? There is NO MOB control, just a group of people who allow the Police on site to have control for the evening. Those people fight, shoot patrons and each other, and create a negative atmosphere.
Stan Modjesky September 26, 2012 at 12:07 AM
Towson has become the new Fell's Point.
N Thom September 26, 2012 at 01:28 AM
I work in Towson and live in the Towson area. The drunk people going through the parking lot behind the Recher are not just patrons of the Recher. They go to the Green Turtle, CVP, Lil Dicky's, Souris and every other bar in Towson. It's the only large free lot that exists in Towson; everyone parks there. It is the same clientele in every bar in Towson...drunk college kids! Who...guess what? drink in parking lots and leave their trash behind.
john merkle September 26, 2012 at 04:19 AM
I agree that Recher's may need to beef up their own security because they have the largest facility. However, I believe that N Thom is totally correct about the diversity of the patrons, going to places other than Recher's. Perhaps an attendant or two for the free parking and/or security is in order for at least Friday and Satuday evenings, to curb the fighting and drunk driving as well....Recher's has been there for what? a decade! They've had national acts as well as great local bands, pretty much without incident 'til this! I honestly believe that they shouldn't receive sole responsibility for this mishap, all in all, they seem to be a decent proprietor. After all, Towson is the first place out of the city line that has a night-life, also college people looking to get a break [by partying], so a decade [more or less], without much incident is in Recher's favor!
john merkle September 26, 2012 at 04:25 AM
It makes me wonder at what point does the community of lawbreakers become responsible!
Needaname September 26, 2012 at 11:50 AM
The police should park themselves in the parking lot and bust their butts. The rear parking lot behind the Recher is a real money maker for the county. Think of all the money Baltimore County can collect in fines for driving while intoxicated !
Needaname September 26, 2012 at 11:55 AM
I have never felt unsafe in Fells Point. I live in Towson and there have been nights where I had felt a creepy vibe.
Steve Kolbe September 26, 2012 at 12:00 PM
So much investment is going into this renaissance in Towson. Many different stakeholders are working together to bring businesses and patrons back into our community. Meanwhile, in response to this incident that is so clearly a failure to keep the peace, Johnson and Kamenetz have nothing to offer but finger pointing and blame. I am not falling for those tactics. Our chief executive and chief of police failed to do their job. As a Towson resident, I often bear witness to the Friday and Saturday night festivities which take place and have long felt the police presence was inadequate to the point of negligence. Perhaps our chief executives will see this as a teachable moment and support our businesses and our guests by stationing the appropriate resources at the appropriate times.
M. Sullivan September 26, 2012 at 12:34 PM
Pretty soon, they'll need guard towers, like Mondawmin Mall. I bet that "clothing drive" was just a hip-hop concert disguised as a charitable event. These types of concerts always seem to require heavy security and often end in shootings. I wonder why?
JD1 September 26, 2012 at 12:43 PM
What happened to personal responsibility? Why is the bar being blamed for the behavior of adults? I have experienced numerous crowds in Towson, but never witnessed individuals actually assaulting police officers because they we so irate because they couldn't get into an establishment. Sounds like the behavior is more a reflection on the culture and choices of the perps and not on the host establishment. But of course, we can't mention that at a press conference now can we.....
Sam September 26, 2012 at 01:39 PM
Towson is still a safe area - it was just a poor decision made on an already hectic night. The Recher should have known better than to host another fraternity party on the same night as Towson Universitys Homecoming. But, they had no idea that this frat was going to bring an influx of several hundred people. They can only contain the event within the theatre. There was really nothing they could do about the several hundred students outside the theatre who were brawling and bashing in cars. The police should have acted more quickly to respond to this. Pepper spraying the back entrance of the bar at 1:00am was not the right solution. The Recher and the Police should have taken action for reinforcement long before it got that out of control.
VWK September 26, 2012 at 01:55 PM
Excellent comment JD1!
nd September 26, 2012 at 03:39 PM
I'd rather step over a beer can or two than be shot. Towson is disgusting, just an extension of the city. Drive by the mall on any given night or look at the bus stops.
Parkvillehoney September 26, 2012 at 04:10 PM
Steve, maybe this is the push Baltimore County leaders and police needed before an incident turned into a fatality. We need more bike and walking police officers in business areas. I think visible police presence will prevent a lot of troublemakers from acting out.
john merkle September 26, 2012 at 05:30 PM
I agree...the more I read about this, the more it looks like it's the "3rd party [unnamed] promoter" that is at the very core of the mob's anger...wasn't he paid? KK's gavel came down swiftly and unfairly on Recher's head!!! Mr. Recher closed the doors after capacity crowd was reached...that was the right thing to do! He cannot possibly be responsible for the actions of those groups of people that felt "justified" by carrying-on like a bunch of rabid mad dogs....KK was apparrently un-informed...He's the man-on-the-scene with an instant on-the-job speech condemning an innocent man! How about castigating the uncivilized behavior of those that damaged property and spilled blood!!!
john merkle September 26, 2012 at 05:48 PM
As an ex-cabbie for Towson [10yrs], it was a mixed bag-o-nuts! Worse now...I felt the safer fares were at Hillendale,Timonium, and west [north] of Towson...daytime panhandlers/cig-bummers etc...
Steve williams September 27, 2012 at 01:54 AM
To Steve Kolbe, was it also a teachable moment when you decided to break the law. How can you possibly write about keeping peace when your action were anything but,remember you purposely broke the law. You got the pub, you kissed the ring of robo bob and were rewarded with your current position. Before you lecture anyone about keeping peace I suggest you reimburse the county for their expenses incurred by your ridiculous lawsuit. Please send your money in then you can comment about keeping peace.
Steve Kolbe September 27, 2012 at 02:28 AM
I have a megalomaniacal streak which led me to intentionally break the law, just so I could seize a negative income, volunteer position as a leader in a minority political party… riiiight. Uninformed and childish attempts to assassinate my character aren't going to stop me from standing up for the things I believe in, they aren't going to make me stop caring about our community and the people in it, and they certainly don't change the fact that I'm right about the failure of leadership this week.
Needaname September 27, 2012 at 11:55 AM
What ? 'The Recher should have known better than to host another fraternity party on the same night as Towson University's Homecoming ?' This is not Thug-son, it is Towson - why should anyone have to adhere to a THUG MENTALITY. HERE IS A SOLUTION - GROW UP PEOPLE !!!
Steve williams September 27, 2012 at 06:58 PM
Mr. Kolbe, you are so witty and yes what you say in the first line is true. Please tell Patch readers where the character assassination is. Did you not intentionally break the laws, you neighbors certainly thought you did, and the county proved it in court. Did you not sue the county knowing it was a ridiculous lawsuit? Was it not dismissed totally? Did the county have to waste time and taxpayer dollars defending your frivilous suit? Did you not receive tv and print coverage,standing with robo bob and did you not parlay that into the heard of the republicans? Please explain top Patch readers what's incorrect. When you reimburse the county for their expenses then and only then should you have anything to say about keeping peace.
Steve Kolbe September 29, 2012 at 01:41 AM
Steve, if I was the evil political operative you suggest I am, then instead of burning thousands of dollars of my own money in legal fees, I would have simply called in the hundreds of signs for Democrat candidates in the county (yes I photographed a lot of signs as part of the case) that were in violation, to have them taken down. I wasn't helping Republicans. Everyone who lives here knows that, come election time in a gubernatorial year, there are many more signs for Dems than there are Republicans and a change in the law would have accrued benefits accordingly. My fight was for equal rights and equal enforcement for EVERYONE. In fact, there were two Kamenetz signs, a Fusco sign, plus a variety of other non-political signs that were in violation of the same size restriction within 500ft of my home at the time I was cited. They were up before I was cited, and they were up after I took my sign down. My efforts still made an impact. The county now only enforces sign violations when there is a citizen complaint. It's not what I had hoped for but it's still a step in the right direction. Other counties like Howard ceased enforcement on political signs altogether... even better! Anyway, it came out in court documents that elements of the Smith administration coordinated to have my sign taken down. So, if you want to direct your anger against wrongdoing, arrogance, and corruption, that's where you should focus, not on a private citizen who stood up for his beliefs.
Steve Kolbe September 29, 2012 at 11:49 AM
CD, your distant relation is either uninformed or is deliberately unwilling to recount events truthfully to their friends and family, and I think it's unfortunate that you, like Williams, would rather I sat in the back of the bus than stand up and speak out. That arrogance, which is also prevalent with our Democrat leaders, is why they sadly have become so out of touch in this county. Here are some of the best examples: - Within eye shot and across the street from my house at the corner of Charmuth and Dulaney Valley, there was a Bartenfelder and a Brochin sign that were in violation. - Bartenfelder also had two 32sf signs on his York Road campaign office which were in violation. - Kamenetz's people took it upon themselves to put their signs on or conspicuously near county property, specifically a 32sf sign was placed at the Loch Raven Library. - South of the beltway on Dulaney Valley: Goucher college had a "celebrating 100 years" sign up which was in violation. In the string of houses across the street is where the one Kamenetz sign I mentioned earlier and the Fusco sign was located. The apartment complexes just south of there is where the other Kamenetz sign was located. But by far the best example of the hypocrisy of my case was the one at 301 W. Pennsylvania, across the street from the county courthouse. Here's a picture of it. http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=4684153670477&set=pb.1492941216.-2207520000.1348918422&type=1&theater
Steve Kolbe September 29, 2012 at 06:30 PM
The signs placed at 301 West Pennsylvania Ave were indeed illegal because the property is zoned Residential Office (RO). That subjects the property to the same 8 sqft maximum as my home on Dulaney Valley Road. You have the correct section from the Baltimore County Code. The other part you need in order to close the loop is to look up 301 West Penna on the the zoning map: http://myneighborhood.baltimorecountymd.gov/ As far as the Loch Raven Library, the sign was not only placed neatly next to directional signage by the entrance, but it was also a potential hazard to motorists. Here you go: http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=4685817152063&set=pb.1492941216.-2207520000.1348942863&type=1&theater CD, I maintain that your relative is either uninformed or is intentionally spreading misinformation. I also maintain that my intentions were genuine and were in the spirit of improving free speech for everyone. What else can I do to prove that to you? Is your anger simply because you don't agree with my values?
Buck Harmon September 29, 2012 at 08:43 PM
Kamenetz is playing the Towson political mouth piece game...nothing more. Had this situation occurred in most other Baltimore Co. towns nothing would have been said by him. The politics of Towson are at play here....nothing more, nothing less. Another bad job KK...
balto county citizen September 29, 2012 at 09:27 PM
meh... ur the crotchity one that hides behind an anonymous account to hate on people. go away.
Buck Harmon September 30, 2012 at 01:50 AM
I'm not sure what the heck you are referring to here "calm down", I have always been self employed and don't rely on the government for anything...still working as well... I can see why you are afraid to use a real name....you spout pointless crap with no meaning what so ever....sounds like you could be KK's right hand man ..
Buck Harmon September 30, 2012 at 12:11 PM
Wow..you really ARE on a looney tune tangent here...don't know a Wayne Harmon, no member of my family as far as I can tell....I have restored buildings historically for the last 32 years in the area though...way off with this assumption. tou would seem to be an ass AND a coward, terrified of your real name...
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